Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering airplane diapers, arena baseball, ice, and more.
What is the worst state to get drunk in? Factor in population, major cities, the people (if you have been to the state), and things to do. Iowa has got to be in the top five, right?
Wouldn't Iowa be a great state to get drunk in? What else is there to do there? I spent four years in Maine drunk, and getting drunk there is swell, because if you sober up in Maine, you will realize that there is probably a naked, deranged hermit out in the woods, silently hunting you. No, thank you. Gonna need some Natural Light Ice to ward off the heebie jeebies. Don't write off states like Iowa just because they're boring and desolate and filled with imbeciles. People in that state know how to party out of NECESSITY.
My vote would go to Arizona. It's hotter than death. Every beer you drink brings you one step closer to heat stroke. Every bar is cheesy as hell. Every cop is insane. And everyone there is dumb and annoying to talk to. ("Hi, I'm Brazzlynn, and I'm studying to be an animal dentist!") I will remain sober in Arizona and find a way out, thank you.
Pennsylvania comes next, because buying liquor there is such a pain in the ass. The most important thing when I am drunk is to make sure that I can get access to MORE beer if I need it. Pennsylvania makes that difficult. States like Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland all suuuccccckkk for buying booze. Buying booze across the border in Virginia is like a dream for me. Only reason to visit that state.
What happens if [insert NFC South team here] wins the Super Bowl? Would that make people want to change the playoff format more or less? Has there been another comparably awful pro-sports champion?
No major North American pro-sports team has won a title with a losing record in the past 65 years, so a Ron Rivera Super Bowl win would be historic on many levels: first losing NFL playoff team to win it all, first time Ron Rivera displayed bureaucratic competence, first time Jerry Richardson felt any kind of sensation in his genitals, etc.
The only two times in history when a losing team won a title was in hockey. This makes perfect sense, because hockey season lasts forever, and the team that wins the championship is usually the team that has six players left standing (MOST EXCITING PLAYOFFS IN THE WORLD, GANG!). But it's never happened in football, baseball, or even basketball, where below-.500 playoff teams are annually featured. The NBA playoffs are so long and arduous and full of Franklin & Bash promos that the whole "small sample" phenomenon goes out the window, and shitty teams can't luck their way through four rounds. (I thought that maybe the 1999 Knicks came close to pulling it off, but it turns out they had a winning record in a lockout-shortened season.)
And, with the exception of the 1981 Royals (strike year), no modern baseball team has ever made the playoffs with a losing record, not even with the advent of the Wild Card and divisional realignment. Baseball maintains a limited playoff field as a reward for winning teams that somehow managed to endure sitting through 162 goddamn four-hour baseball games without suffering a psychotic break.
This brings us to the NFC South, which is guaranteed of putting a losing team in the playoffs if the Saints lose one of their next two games. This would be the second time in five years that this has happened, and it'll probably happen again, because there are too many divisions (do the Colts really deserve a "title" for being the only AFC South team with a quarterback?), which means there's always the chance that four bad teams will happen to be lumped together in one giant Ross Dress for Less of a division.
I fucking hate "worst team to ever win a title" arguments (2011 NY Giants, 2011 STL Cardinals, etc.), because winning a title is HARD. It's not like you won it because everyone else called in sick. But I think the NFL would change its playoff formatting if the Panthers managed to win it all, strictly for the sake of PR. The league sells you many things: beer, morality, parking-lot ass-eating, etc. But what it really wants to sell you is the idea of GREATNESS. They want you to believe you are watching great men do great things. They want you to bask in the presence of their great-itude. They'll slap together an NFL Films yearbook of your 3-13 team and throw enough swelling music and deeply intoned narration into it to make you think the Raiders won the damn Super Bowl that year. That's how the NFL operates, so Roger Goodell isn't gonna tolerate a 6-9-1 Panthers team winning it all and presenting incontrovertible proof that the League was not great in 2014 (in every possible way, it turns out). People will demand a re-greatening of footbaw, and he'll rejigger the formula and declare that the NFL is, once again, the purest meritocracy in human history. And then he'll pick his butt.
If a hockey player LICKS the ice, would his tongue get stuck a la A Christmas Story / Dumb and Dumber? And how long do you think it would take to get stuck? Twenty seconds?
Okay, so for this question, I went over to the fridge and grabbed an ice cube. Then I jammed my tongue onto it. And it stuck! My wife was completely baffled and horrified.
HER: What are you doing?!
Anyway, after a few seconds, the heat of my tongue and the surrounding room temperature caused the ice to melt, and I could free my tongue with no lasting damage. I also explained the experiment to my wife a second time. She was not comforted at all.
So if you're playing hockey in a cold arena and you bend down to lick a relatively DRY surface (don't do it right after the Zamboni has done its business), you can probably get it to adhere for a bit. But it won't be for long because, unlike a cold metal pole, ice has the courtesy to melt. This is why you can do ice-luge shots without fear. Have you ever done an ice-luge shot? I have! CAN'T TAKE MY BRO CARD NOW!
(I've told this story before, but when I was a freshman in college, they had a luge party, and when it was my turn to do a shot, I started going down on the luge like it was a vagina. I was drunk. The senior who was pouring the shots took one look at me and told me to please stop. I was a weird person in college. Don't give an ice luge cunnilingus.)
I am a UAB alumnus, and as you may have heard, recently my football team was cruelly taken from me. So what the hell do I do now? Do I pick another team? How would I even do that? Do I dispassionately watch other schools have their fun while I stare at the TV and try not to cry? Do I stop watching college football altogether? I'm so confused.
I would become one of those Hartford Whalers hipsters that walks around in dormant team merchandise and bitches about how the NHL abandoned REAL HUCKEY TOWNS in favor of disloyal, Glory Boy Sun Belt cities. Just keeping rocking your UAB shit until it becomes retro, and then you can become a disaffected, cynical prick. People love that.
Or, since it was Bama that stole your team from you, you could cheer for Auburn, their most hated rival! You could gain 200 pounds, throw out all your shoes, start smoking three packs a day, and then call into the Finebaum show and be like, "THE RIFS HAD IT IN FER US AWLLLLL ALONG AND LEMME TELL YEW SOMETHIN' ELSE I DON'T THANK NICK SABAN RECREWTED THEM KIDS WHAT WAS LEGAL THERE NOW!" Seems like a fun group of people to join.
By the way, the most shocking thing about Alabama strong-arming UAB's football program out of existence is that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often. If I were the athletic director at Florida, I would be like, "Holy shit, you can actually DO that?" Then I would slip the state comptroller $100 and tell him that the existence of Florida State's football program is something of an unnecessary fiscal redundancy.
Is there anything more stressful than when your wife asks, "Is something burning?" I instantly turn into a bloodhound, darting around my condo to find the smell. Turns out my neighbor can't cook for shit.
There's always an accusatory air to the question. "Is something burning?" basically means, "Hey, asshole! YOU BURNED SOMETHING AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT." I always flatly deny it. "No. Nothing is burning. You are hallucinating because you are a crazy person," and then I run to the oven, take out the chicken nuggets, snip off the burnt parts, and turn them over so that they look expertly cooked. All perfectly rational behavior, if you ask me. I also like to blame the toaster oven, because crumbs get caught in the bottom and make it smell like the toast is burning. But the toast is fine! We just have an ongoing fire hazard. No big deal.
I am too proud and too much of an arrogant dick to ever admit that I burned anything. That is CHAR. It adds a whole new flavor profile to the dish. Sometimes I will burn dinner and serve it to the kids, praying they don't notice. And you know what? They ALWAYS notice. A fucking bomb could go off a block away and they would keep playing Minecraft. But over-toast a Perdue nugget? SO MANY TEARS. I eat all the burned food in this house. If you have anything burned, send it my way. I'm your guy. I'm not picky like the rest of these prima donnas.
How bad would an NFL ownership situation need to be before nobody would take a coaching job there? It seems like Snyder's getting close in Washington.
Snyder has already had issues hiring head coaches, particularly when he brought in Jim Zorn as offensive coordinator, and then elevated him to head coach when he realized that no one else wanted to work for his shitty, terrible organization. Same thing happened with the Raiders, when Al Davis hired Lane Kiffin despite the fact that Kiffin had never even been a coordinator at the college or pro level. You can always find someone to take that job, either for the money or for the sake of getting the title "Head Coach" listed on a resume. And if you fail, the coaching community is so insular that terrible coaches NEVER go out of work. Look at Kiffin landing on his feet at 'Bama. Look at Charlie Weis' entire career. You can fail SPECTACULARLY in that profession and still get hired because people, like, know you.
So Dan Snyder could waterboard Jay Gruden on live television and still find some poor schmuck out there to take his place. But spiritually, that job is a black hole. Taking that job means putting a price on your own career suicide. And hey, if that price is $15 million, no one will ever blame you for taking it. Even if a team was somehow bankrupt, the NFL would probably take it over and still offer a market head-coaching salary. You can always find a chump. The world is full of them.
(By the way, I'm becoming more convinced that Gruden is actively trying to get fired now. Again, this is all a matter of routine here in D.C.)
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Oh, yes. It's THE Christmas movie, although it's a little bit weird now to hear Al Powell's sob story about accidentally shooting a kid. He sees a kid with a Lazer Tag gun, shoots the kid, and gets to keep his gun. Oh, but now he's too SCARED to ever use it again. That's the real tragedy! He should have been fucking indicted. And then, at the end of the movie, Karl's brother rises from the dead, and Powell shoots his ass, so the feel-good ending of the movie is basically, "Hey, that cop finally got to shoot people again!" That is such an '80s movie ending.
I also consider Lethal Weapon to be a Christmas movie because they play "Jingle Bell Rock" before that naked lady goes jumping out a window. Really gets me in the holiday spirit.
How much different do you think football would be if instead of four plays to go 10 yards, you had eight plays but had to go 20 yards? The ELITE quarterbacks would obviously benefit from this, right?
It would benefit the offense, because when you think about it, the current system really only gives you three downs to go 10 yards. If you fail, you're probably gonna punt or kick a field goal on fourth down, ceding that final attempt (not that you necessarily should, but that's what happens more often than not). If you go to eight downs and 20 yards, then you're essentially handing the offense that fourth down as a free play, followed by three chances to go the extra 10 yards. I think. I'm not to be trusted with math, especially basic counting (tell me that the period of 2010-2014 lasted five years, and I will count the years out just to make sure). Seven downs would probably make it closer in strategy and results to what we have now, which … Well, it seems kinda pointless to change it, if that's the case.
I've toyed with the idea of replacing "first and 10" with " first and 11" to slow down NFL offenses without fundamentally altering how the game is played. But frankly, more scoring is more fun, and the NFL has many more pressing changes to make (getting rid of the PAT, ditching the challenge system, firing the meathead commissioner) before this kind of shit needs to be addressed.
Maybe I've just seen too many movies, but I always assume the worst when I see idle squad cars in odd/remote areas. Like if I see one parked on the edge of a totally secluded forest preserve (I have these vantage points as a daily train commuter), that HAS to be a cop makin' a shady deal, or going rogue to investigate a murder that hit too close to home, only he's being watched and is about to get clipped ... right? What are the less-exciting reasons for cops driving out to completely useless, hidden parts of our towns?
Aren't they just hiding in speed traps? FIENDS I'LL TEAR THEM APART. Or maybe the cop is masturbating. That's what I would do if I were a cop. I'd go out on the beat, drink my coffee, get bored, and then park in the woods with my favorite copy of Club International for five quality minutes.
The thing that always piques my interest is if I see a car on the side of the road that's been pulled over by TWO cop cars or more. Usually, this happens because the guy blew a tire or something. But if I see no visible car damage? And the guy is out of the car? TERRORIST ANTHRAX SMUGGLER. There's no other explanation. If I ever rear-end you on a freeway, it's probably because I was looking for heroin in the guy's trunk. My bad.
Imagine if baseball had huge, plexiglass walls (as tall as the foul poles) along the foul lines. Let's also say you could catch the ball off these walls for an out so that the ball is in play much more often. Players would have to learn all sorts of new angles to track the ball. Wouldn't that be awesome and more exciting?
In theory, yes. In practice, I would be pissed if I went to a baseball game and had to watch everything through a window. Now a foul ball won't have the chance to shatter my jaw! RIPOFF. But in general, I am greatly in favor of baseball players accidentally running into manmade obstacles: walls, snake pits, those large barriers that horsies have to jump over, etc.
People who plan wedding ceremonies in one venue and the wedding reception in another venue over 30 miles away: These people should have all future decision-making taken out of their hands, yes?
Yes … UNLESS there's a bus or something for all the drunk people. I'll get drunk on a wedding bus. It's like being in school all over again!
[Throws beer bottle at the driver.]
Seriously though, try and make it a one-venue affair. When the ceremony is over, it's important that I get drunk as quickly as possible.
If you take all the times you've pulled in and out of your driveway, would you have burned a full tank of gas? On one hand, I would think no freaking way. But on the other hand, I've pulled in and out of my driveway a lot of fucking times.
Let's say your driveway is 30 feet long, and a full tank of gas gets you a range of 300 miles. That would give you 52,800 trips down (or up) the driveway before you ran out of gas. If you leave your house and come back twice a day, it would take you about 36 years to do it. Also: Fuck you for making me do math.
By the way, if I have to make more than two car trips out of the house in one day, something has gone terribly wrong. I've clearly forgotten the milk or something. Don't make me leave again. I can't take it.
Do women get more attractive the older one gets? I'm 28 now, and I swear to God the number of women I find very attractive has grown exponentially in the past three or so years. Is it me? Is this a generalized thing?
You're kind of at the peak horndog age right now, because you probably hang out in bars or restaurants where people have cleaned up nicely and look good. And you probably work in an office where people wear sexy suits, and you're old enough now to not be some dipshit teenage bro who is hard-up but still hilariously strict when it comes to grading a woman's attractiveness. BRO, HER EYES ARE WEIRD. SHE'S BUTT. I'D DO HER BUT SHE'S ONLY A SEVEN. I remember being that kind of teenager. Teenagers are the fucking worst. Much better to keep an open mind when it comes to gratifying yourself.
One other thing: People, in general, are looking better now than at any point in history. We have more flattering clothes and sexy shoes and age-defying makeup and stunt diets and mole-removal methods than ever before. And it's paying off! LOOKIN' GOOD, AMERICA.
Anyway, suffice it to say that this upswing will not continue for you. Once you get to my age, you start ruling out a vast majority of the young female population, because you don't want to be creepy and disgusting. Any photo of Ariana Grande is terrifying, because she looks like she's eight years old. They even gave her a ponytail so that she always looks like she's just coming back from gymnastics practice, just to nab the Creeps And Pervs demographic. PUT SOME DAMN CLOTHES ON, YOUNG LADY.
So you have that to look forward to. And soon, you'll become a picky old man and get hung up on trivial things, and everything everyone else does will annoy you and make them ugly in your eyes. And then you will die cranky and alone. It's a pretty cool life cycle.
At what point do you consider a kid's tooth brushed? I feel like if I guided one morsel of fluoride-infused Thomas the Train sponsored gel from the brush to his tooth, it is brushed. All these baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, so is this just Big Toothpaste taking my money and creating another battle with my child?
I think the dentists of America recommend that they brush for two full minutes, which is outright lunacy. Just getting brush in mouth is victory enough. After they're done, I usually have to check and re-brush the teeth in case they fucked up (they did). But if they protest, I'll just give up and let the teeth rot. And then my wife will say, "Did you do a check? And is something burning?" And then I run.
One of my friends made a bet with me to wear a diaper on my flight from St Louis to NYC. He also daringly bet me to wear this diaper and full on dump my pants while on the plane. Of course I would probably go to the bathroom right before the flight to make sure I've got all the liquid out of my system first—I'm not an animal, and would try to keep things as clean as possible.
Should I do it? It's not that long of a flight, but that is still a good two-plus hours of moving around in an airplane seat sitting on top of a load of my homemade brownies. I am indeed a full-grown man, and things could get messy.
Lastly, where do you recommend I pull the trigger? In line waiting to board? Standing in the aisle while I pretend to adjust my bag in the overhead compartment? Right there in my seat looking eye-to-eye at my poop-smelling seat neighbor? And what do I eat the night before? Is this downright insane or worth the money?
What is the amount you're wagering? I'm not spending an entire plane ride in my own filth for anything less than $50,000. People will smell it. Take it from someone with small children: The older you get, the worse your shit stinks. The second you release into your pants (I would go into the bathroom in the terminal, sit on the toilet, and shit into the diaper, as if taking a normal shit. I don't think I can poop standing up, or strain to poop visibly in public. I would get stagefright), everyone will smell it. In fact, you might even get the flight grounded and searched due to potential biohazards. I would do a lot of things for money, but that's a pretty awful experience to put yourself (not to mention 300 fellow passengers) through. So no, I would turn the bet down if it's for a small amount. Otherwise, you're essentially being a dickhead prankster. Pranksters are the worst people on Earth.
Email of the week!
In second grade, I was playing little-league baseball. I was primarily an outfielder (since I sucked), but during one early-season practice, the coach was letting everybody try different positions to see if they were better in a different spot. For the next game, I was the new second baseman. It was also my first season wearing a jock strap, and I found the cup very uncomfortable. It was pretty wide for my skinny frame, and the sides kept pinching into my inner thighs when I sat on the dugout bench. When I was getting dressed before the next game, I put on the jock strap, and during the car ride to the park, pulled the cup out and tossed it in my bat bag, so I would feel better when sitting.
A few innings into the game, the batter hits a hard ground ball that takes a funny hop on the edge of the grass/dirt, and it hit me right where my cup should have been. After a minute of crying and writhing on the ground, I dusted myself off and tried to hide the embarrassment. Coach came over and asked where my cup was, and I said it was in the bat bag. My mother happened to be sitting in the front row of the bleachers next to the cage door opening at the end of the dugout. She went through my bag, and walked the cup out onto the field to hand to the coach to give to me. I had to turn towards the outfielders and put in my cup, and resume the game. Starting in the next inning and for the rest of my short baseball career, I played left field.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Image by Sam Woolley.
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